Secretary of State Nominee Rex Tillerson Testifies at Confirmation Hearing CSPAN January 11, 2017 9:04am-11:47am EST
teaching and i think that's the way we will make the greatest difference to our security in the long run. >> mr. secretary. thank you, i'm told we're out of time. it so i understand like you're saying these are the issues you want to work on after you leave office. >> yeah, i'm trying to find out how, the best way of doing that is, but yes. >> you're going to start your own organization? >> no, i don't want to start my own thing. you know, i want to find the right thing to do within the context of something that's there, i think. i did that when i came back. >> just a couple minutes left in this ram. we'll leave it here as rex tillerson, donald trump's nominee for secretary of state
is appearing for the senate relations committee headed by senator bob corker. >> i will give an opening statement. our distinguished ranking member will give an opening statement and then our nominee and ten minutes to answer questions. a little bit more than the norm. we've coordinated the schedule with ranking member and also with senator schumer and others just to ensure that the american people and certainly all of us have the opportunity to ask the kind of questions that people would like to ask. i would say to members, i know some of us have an art form of being able to ask about nine questions in time ending about five seconds before the respondent responds. the ten minutes includes the response and i'm going to be, in order to be respectful of everybody's time, which is a little bit unusual here.
our plan to go until about 1:00 today, if everybody uses their time. we will take a break, out of showing mercy to our nominee for about 45 minutes and to many of us here and then come back and resume until such a time as we have which ends around 6:00 this evening. in order to make sure that all questions are answered, the ranking member and i agree should there be another day, we'll begin in the morning at 10:00, hopefully with all that will happen today, that will be unnecessary but our nominee is very aware and i think we all know our business meeting in order to show respect for all who are here has moved until tonight when we have the voterama that will take up thes
ascencion. >> can i just thank you for the hearing to have more time in the morning for answering questions and accommodating a 10 minute round. the chairman and i have worked closely together to make sure that this hearing was the type of hearing we'd be proud of in the senate foreign relations committee and i want to personally thank you for that and welcome four new members to the committee and with that, i'll withhold until after. >> this committee has been, and certainly, a beacon of bipartisanship as was mentioned. sometimes, an island of bipartisanship but i think all of us understand the importance of us being united, especially
when we leave and i'm sure we'll continue to conduct the hearing today in that manner. with that, we have four very distinguished individuals who would like to introduce the nominee and thank them for being here and plan to spend 2.5 minutes each to do so to senator cruz and the distinguished sam from georgia who we missed but thanked him for his service and the distinguished secretary gates who has served 8 presidents and actually surprised he's not serving a ninth but we thank you for being here. each of you, if you would, please give your comments and then we will move to opening statements. thank you for being here. >> chairman corker and ranking member of the committee, i'm
proud to be here today with my colleague senator cruz to introduce a fellow texan, nominee to be the next secretary of state. without a doubt, tex till rex t is an inspired choice and the depth and breadth of his experience is accomplished and successful business leader and skilled negotiator and given a solid understanding of our current geopolitical and economic challenges, making him uniquely qualified to serve in this important office. after graduating from the university of texas with the degree in engineering, mr. tillerson joined the exxon corporation and eventually moving up the ranks and into overseas assignments in asia, the middle east and europe. in 2006, he assumed command of exxonmobil and displayed exceptional acumen with geopolitical obstacles to make
the company into one of the world's most profitable corporations. as a lifelong texan, rex has been recognized for something you don't ordinarily associate with being a powerful business leader and head of one of the largest corporations in the world. he's been recognized for his humility and his altruism. one of my constituents recently wrote a piece in the "dallas morning news" talking about serving on a jury with mr. tillerson recently. did you know on that jury, his natural leadership ability and charisma helped them deliver justice in a delicate and difficult case of sexual assault, following the trial, mr. tillerson donated to the non-profit that helped support and counsel the victim after the trial. mr. tillerson understands how to separate friendships and business. he knows who he works for. my first encounter with rex is
when i was attorney general. i don't know if he remembers this, but we were on opposite sides of a lawsuit. i was representing in my capacity as attorney general the state of texas and we had the tu m temerity to sue exxonmobil. our first encounter was awkward to say the least but over the years, i've grown to admire and respect rex and didn't let our difrnl differences get in the way of what we could agree on. i've seen him display an uncanny ability to serve him and our country well as our chief diplomat. that's an ability to deftly handle business matters while maintaining and building relationships, a further testament to his strength of character. once he's confirmed, i'm confident he will be instrumental in shaping american foreign policy as we face a broad array of diplomatic challenges as we would define
the security of genernation for generations. let me introduce rex tillerson. >> thank you for being the first prompt senator i've witnessed here. thank you so much. >> try to set the standard. >> thank you, sir. mr. chairman, ranking member, members of the committee, good morning. it is a privilege to join you this morning and have the opportunity to introduce my fellow texan, rex tillerson. as many of you know, he's a texan, born and raised in wichita falls and proud texas longhorn, which john and i might think is plenty enough alone to qualify him for secretary of state, but i recognize you all might set a higher bar than that. the good news is, that is only the beginning of a long substantive list of qualifications, achievements, and international relationships that rex brings to the table.
a list that i believe has prepared him to be a strong candidate to lead our state department. as we face the monumental task of restoring america's influence across the world. as all of us know, this is no easy task. we live in a dangerous year and a dangerous world. and after the last eight years, we face a circumstance where many of our friends no longer trust us. and many of our enemies no longer fear us. rex tillerson is a serious man who understands the value of perseverance and knows what it takes to accomplish difficult tasks. from an early age, he worked to climb the ranks in boy scouts to become an eagle scout and started as a production engineer at exxon in 1975. eventually climbing his way to the top as ceo of the fortune 10
company, at exxon, he led one of the world's most respected companies with over 75,000 employees and over $250 billion in revenue. exxon, a proud texas company, does business in 52 countries. and rex has traveled the globe, negotiating business deals with world leaders. effectively advocating for the interests of his company, shareholders, and employees. the numerous achievements that rex has earned, they don't come without hard work and dedication and passion for one's mission. this is the work ethic and spirit that america needs in its secretary of state. that is the attitude that gives me confidence in the opportunity that rex has to chart a different, better, and stronger course for our national security and diplomacy. we need a secretary of state who understands that america is
exceptional, who will establish policies upon that foundation of exceptionali exceptionalism and who will put america's interests first. repeatedly, the current administration has used the united nations to try to circumvent the will of congress and the american people. i look forward to a president and secretary of state who will instead vigorously defend u.s. sovereignty. i believe that rex has an incredible opportunity to defend the foreign policy principles upon which president-elect trump campaigned. to strengthen our friendship and alliances and to defeat our enemies. and i look forward to all of us working with him in the years ahead as we restore american leadership across the globe. thank you. >> thank you, also for those concise comments, much appreciated, thank you both for being here and if you need to
leave to go to other hearings, please feel free to do so. senator nuncer, you need to turn on your microphone. out of practice. >> i thank you, senator corker and senator isaacson and members of the committee. i wish i thought of this clock a long time ago. would have saved a lot of agony for our committee, so i'll try to cut my statement as short as possible and ask the whole statement be put into the record. >> without objection, thank you. >> let me just tackle two points that i know have been raised with the committee as well as with the senate. first, rex tillerson's knowledge of and experience in russia. and second, how he's worked in the private sector prepares him to be the top diplomat and most important in our government. and with respect to russia, certain facts are clear.
recent actions indicate its national interest sharply differ for america's national interest in important places, most acutely in ukraine, syria. and russia's values differ particularly in our form of government, our commitment to personal freedom, human rights and the rule of law. these fundamental difrnferences are very important and the fact our interests and values differ should influence our policy towards russia but the facts don't end here. it is also a fact that russia today deploys hundreds of nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles that could be fired and hit their targets around the globe in less time it would take to have opening statements at the hearing today. it is also a fact that for both united states and russia, the risk of an accidental unauthorized or mistaken launch of a nuclear ballistic missile is unnecessarily high, particularly in our world,
increasing cyber vulnerability and also a fact that the united states and russia, like it or not, are bound together in areas of unavoidable common interests, including the prevention of nuclear and biological terrorism. the prevention of nuclear proliferation and faults of nuclear attacks and hacking of command and control systems or nuclear facilities. these facts lead me to an inescapable conclusion. it is dangerous for the united states and russia and for the world to have virtually no dialogue on reducing nuclear risks and very little military to military communication. and if this continues and we're doubted by zero sum logic on both sides, we and russia may be rewarded at some point with catastrophe. this is my judgment even when we have stark disputes including strong evidence from our intelligence community that russia has interfered in u.s. elections. a finding that congress must fully examine including its
ominous implications for our political process and our security. mr. chairman and members of the committee, there have been other moments in history where voices in both washington and moscow argue that our areas of disagreement were so great, that we should not work on issues even of common interests between our two countries. for those who are considering this point, i would suggest rereading president kennedy's commencement address that university delivered just months after the cuban missile crisis. a singular nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive power delivered by all the allied poforces in second world war. rejected voices saying it's useless to speak of peace unto the leaders of the soviet union adopt a more enlightened attitude. let us not be blind to
differences but also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which these differences can be resolved. mr. chairman and members of the committee, these words remain true today. i know rex tillerson pretty well and i am confident he's well prepared to do what is essential for the security of our nation to hold firm and tough where our national interest and values demand it and to build on common interests in working with other nations including russia on practical concrete steps that will make the american people safer and more secure. mr. chairman, corden and other members of the committee, i also consider rex tillerson's experience and knowledge in business as an asset and as well as his knowledge of russia. i think both are assets, not liabilities. i also consider his business experience very relevant to the world today is an asset. i look at the world today, every
significant international challenge we face has an important business component. it's true in ukraine. it's true in the middle east. it's true in most places. rex tillerson knows these crucial regions, he knows the leaders and understands the challenges and the risks. he is also keenly aware of the power of the private sector and the important role he can play in addressing these fundamental issues. mr. chairman, in wrapping up, i'm confident that if confirmed, to be secretary of state, rex tillerson will take off his corporate hat but he'll use his vast experience to devote 100% of his considerable intellect, energy, and experience to protecting america's interest in the troubled world we're in. i thank you, mr. chairman, and i urge his confirmation. >> thank you so much for being here, participating and your many, many contributions, relative to nuclear safety around the world. secretary gates. >> chairman corker, ranking member and distinguished members of the foreign relations committee.
gives me great pleasure to introduce fellow eagle scout rex tillerson. i've known him for a number of years through shared experience in leading the boy scouts of america. on many occasions after a day after meetings, rex and i would talk often for hours about international affairs including russia and vladimir putin. i believe i have a pretty good idea about how he thinks about the world and the challenges we face. the secretary of state has four important roles, advising the president, negotiating with foreign governments and international organizations, representing the united states abroad and leading the department of state. against a backdrop of having known or worked with 12 secretaries of state, i believe mr. tillerson is superbly qualified to carry out each of these roles. he's deeply knowledgeable about the international scene in geopolitics and importantly, would be an informed and independent advisor to the
president. he would be candid and honest, willing to tell the president straight from the shoulder what he needs to hear and he would bring decades of experiences, tough and successful negotiator with foreign governments to the position. i've heard him speak often to scout groups about american values and i know he would be an eloquent and passionate representative of the united states to the world. and finally, based on his long experience in leading a major corporation as well as the boy scouts, i know he'll lead the department of state with skill and respect for the professionals. much is said and written about mr. tillerson and russia. i've spent my entire adult life dealing with the soviet union and russia. i join cia over 50 years ago to do my bit in the epic struggle with the soviet union. during that time, i acquired a reputation as something of a hard liner. just ask a couple of previous secretaries of state, yet i knew
we had not only to resist and contain the ussr but contain the risk of conflict and that meant engaging in dialogue, negotiations and reaching agreements limiting strategic and confrontations from escalating. this new administration must sl thread the theneedle between a ambitions and bullying and at the same time, find a way to stop a dangerous downward spiral in our relationship with russia. i believe mr. tillerson is the right person at the right time to help accomplish both of those goals. and so it is with pride and confidence that i introduce him to you today and encourage his confirmation. >> we thank you all for being here. you honor us with your presence. we thank you for your contribution. you do not have to leave, but you cannot stay there.
>> in many ways to broaden our ability to serve our nation and to serve our state having been mostly a business person. when i came here, the first order of business was to deal with the surge in iraq. pretty monumental time. we had an, the united states unleashed forces in the region that had not been seen, not unlike taking in some ways a big stick and hitting a hornet's net and changing dramatically and in the region and we had the choice of whether we surge and try to be successful at what we'd began or take another course. afghanistan had been underresourced and all of the sudden, we began discussing
things like nation building. things that had not been part of our vocabulary for many years. we had the arab spring that took place in 2011 and some of which built off of some of the activities that i mentioned earlier and we had all kinds of incoherent things that took place. the quick throwing aside of a leader in egypt we had known for years and never understand what the goal was but left a large vacuum in the region and we had the conflict in syria and with us cheering on the people who wanted more of a democracy. and then we had the red line.
we had the taking of crimea and i think some by observing u.s. leadership in the world. we had china redrawing a map that had been around for thousands of years in the south china sea and claiming islands and properties and building runways and doing things, again, until that time had not occurred. we've had the whole destabilization of europe where i think confidence levels in europe probably the lowest they've been in our lifetimes. driven by concerns about in many cases what our role is but also the role of russia and what it's been doing in the region, the role of immigrants that are flowing in and the whole challenging of the european model. and then we've had a campaign, let's face it, somewhat
unorthodox. one that is also given concern to our allies in the world and to many around the world as to just where america is going to be. with all of this chaos that has exhibited through multiple administrations and will continue under this for a period of time, we've had chaos where the united states has been withdrawn in its leadership role and to me, that's a recipe for further chaos. so this is a very important hearing. i had the ability today to sit down with general flynn who's going to be the national security advisor and i spent time with people around him for some time and i know that rightly so, his focus is also on our country doing well economically. every military leader we've had before us and certainly secretary gates have told us that if our nation is not strong
economically, if we're not doing the things fiscally to keep strong, our nation will be week and our leadership around the world will be diminished. so i'm thankful that that is the case. a lot of people here realize that it's not, it's not only important for us to be economically successful. but we understand that autocrats and other places, when they themselves are not successful end up creating havoc around the world for nationalistic reasons to build support within their countries. and therefore, we don't wish the other major countries in the world harm as it relates to economic growth. we want them to do well. countries like china and even russia who no doubt as conducted very nefarious activities here in our country. many of us have seen in the middle east, the fact that
poverty, not unlike what happens in our own country, where people who live in cities and neighborhood have no hope, crime permeat permeates. things occur and we've seen the same thing happen in the middle east where young people with no hope are attracted to ideology and end up threatening our own nation. so i appreciate the fact that at the national security office, they're not only connected to those who will be dealing with our issues of foreign policy and role in the world, but also focus on those economic issues which brings me to trade. our country has shown great leadership around the world and rob portman served as our trade representative and previous administrations and there's been a great deal of talk about what our role will be in that regard. i think most of us believe that a world that continues to focus
on free enterprise and a world that continues to have democratic principles, more and more permeated is a world that's a better place for us and while o our. while we should also always focus on trade as it relates to improving the standard of living of americans, an ancillary ben tip is that people within those countries begin to adopt the values that we hold so dear in our country. one of the things that many of us on the committee and so many in the audience have been able to do is also to see the importance of american values around the world. it's an amazing thing to be in afghanistan, trifor instance, wn at 4:30 in the morning who by the way, do all of the hard work
in afghanistan and up and ready to vote on the first election that they voted in. or to see young girls going to schools that they never had the opportunity to go to and to be in refugee camps where truly every eye is on the american that's there with hope. to be in venezuela and to see families whose loved ones are in prison for political reasons and looking to us to change that. to be in villages in africa where, for the first time, because of american ingenuity, 600 million people without power have hope with little in the way of u.s. resources but our leadership in setting a vision and working with others. the elimination almost of hiv and healing of malaria and
dealing with ebola. many of us have been in situations where young people just want to touch us. they just want to see us. they want to hug americans because they like the people who founded our country, believe in the american ideal. it's not just a country but it's their hope. it's their vision of what their life might be with american leadership. i believe the world is at its best when america leads and i think most people at this believe the same thing and we understand the importance of diplomacy and 1% of the u.s. budget that we spend on efforts like mr. tillerson but if we're successful, the likelihood of
the men and women that we cherish so much in our military are much less likely to be in harm's way which brings me to you. this pen, mr. tillerson, who, by the way, never met mr. trump, as i understand until a few weeks ago, month ago. i believe like senator kornen said that it's very, very possible that you are in fact an inspired choice. we look at the president who, if you think about it, approaches everything almost from an economic standpoint. that's been the world that he has lived in and the fact that you've led a global enterprise with 70,000 employees around the world, have been there for 41.5 years, have met world leaders, know them up close and personally, to me, that is going
to give our new president much greater confidence in your ability to offer advice. and i think is going to give the state department possibly the ability to have the appropriate balance with other forces as it relates within the white house and other places, as it relates to developing a vision for our country. if you think about it, not only does the world not really understand where america is today. and all of us have had leaders in our offices wondering what is next but if you think about the body of politic in our country doesn't understand it. we had the bush presidency and then the obama presidency which was not the bush presidency and then we had this election where many things have been said and sometimes, in unorthodox ways so
not just the world leaders know where we are but in the just citizens who watch us on television and other places but our bodied politic does not know. mr. tillerson, this is a momentous time. this, to me, this is the most important nomination that the president has made. the world paying attention to this hearing, i think, denotes that, you have the ability, no doubt to draw a crowd. but it's going to be your responsibility to define clearly what america's role in the world is going to be. i know secretary gates has spoken many times as he talks about the way the world was when it was us and the soviet union but now it's very different and the american people even don't fully understand what the future holds. you've got to restore our credibility, secondly.
look, nato alliance is shaken, europe is shaken, our arab friends because of negotiations that have taken place are concerned about the future and i could go on and on but i want to be respectful to other people's time but one of your first goals is going to be to restore u.s. credibility around the world. you're going to need to prioritize. one of the things i've witnessed over the last several, well, the entire ten years i've been here actually, is it's a lot of activity that takes place but it's hard to discern where it's taking us, and so i think as a person who's led an organization, risen from the bottom, been the ceo of a global enterprise may in fact be an inspired choice to prioritize, to restore credibility which is what a company like yours has had to do with relationships and based on trust, based on people
knowing we do what we say and lastly, you are the person that is charged with being the principle advisor to the president on foreign policy. and i think that's the question that people on both sides of the aisle will raise most here today is we know that there's no way you could speak on his behalf today. that cannot happen. so what people here today, how are you going to advise him? you're going to be one of the last eem people to talk to him, sharing what you think ought to happen. we know you'll carry out his policy and all of us have watched as other secretaries of state tried to carry out their own policy and not the president's and we know that does not work. so we thank you for being here.
my sense is that you are going to rise to the occasion, that you are going to dmont that you are in fact an inspired choice, that you're going to be able to take the years of accomplishments and relationships and transfer that and translate it into a foreign policy that benefits u.s. national interest. thank you again for being willing to put yourself before our country in the world in this manner and with that, turn to my friend, ben karden. >> thank you very much for the accommodations of this hearing and i agree with your final comment. this hearing is about mr. tillerson and mr. tillerson's views, but i think we're going to have some specific questions because of statements made by mr. trufr. but we do want to hear your views particularly as it relates
to many of the challenges that chairman corker went through in his opening statement. it's a pleasure to have you in our committee and thank you very much for your years of public service and secretarygate, thank you for your service and you honor our committee by being here today and i also want to once again welcome our new colleagues, senator portman, senator young. i've worked with all pour of you before in different capacities and i know your commitment to national security and foreign policy. i know you'll all be great additions the our committee and i want to acknowledge senator king, and we thank you for your interest in this hearing and i told you in this private meeting. it's not easy to put yourself forward as you found a sense
your nomination has been brought forward, your life has changed pretty dramatically, not just for you but your entire family and we thank you for your willingness to serve our country. providing consent on the president is one of most constitutional of the senate and one i know all of us on this committee take with the utmost seriousness. mr. tillerson, there is no question about your impressive record in the business world, rising through the ranks and then running exxon, one of the largest multinational operations in the world. yet i would offer having a view from the c suite as exxon is not a same view as the department of state and those who suggest anyone who can run a successful business can run a government agency do a profound disservice
to both. sharing the interest is not the same as serving the national interest of all the american people. effective corporate governance in management does not always lend itself to government decision making, where a bureaucracy and representative institutions such as congress serve a different political and social purposes than maximizing profits. i want to get a sense of how you envision pivoting from the mindset of an oil man focused on profits to that of a statesman focused on promoting american interests and values around the world. as you know, congress has a separate and coequal balance and values that have animated continued to flourish. i want to share with you as i did in our private meeting, my vision of the united states foreign policy and the role of the secretary of state many car, in
carrying out that policy. i approach this with a clear set of expectations with the next administration. i believe strongly in a world where america works with allies and partners, governored by laws and institutions consistent. one where we champion our values both at home and abroad. indeed, i think it's worth spending a few minutes this morning on anti-corruption and civil society. it's worth doing so both because of the critical importance of the issue of america's role in the world and our values are our interest, not a separate set of considerations and because of the nature of exxon and your work there. mr. tillerson leaves some troubling questions about how you view these issues and how you as secretary of state intend to approach them. as you may know, over the course of my tenure in the house and
senate, i've championed the cause of human rights and the importance of democratic process and good governance. i see violations of the sovereignty by china in the south china sea, i speak out. when i see gross human rights violations in ethiopia, i speak out. massive poverty like ecuadorial new guinea, i speak out. and venezuela, i speak out. indeed, events serve as a stark reminder that democracy will not defend itself. it requires those of us who believe in the enduring values of the democratic experiment to nature and support it and those who do not. perhaps the most e preejs events we've seen prel has been what has happened by president putin
in russia effectively killed the nation's nuanced democracy, led efforts across europe and the former soviet union to erode support for democratic institutions and calls into question well accomplished rules of the road. moscow directs efforts undermined democracy and false news, cyber attacks and funding for populous political parties abroad. so perhaps it should come as no surprise that the nefarious activities reach our shores but stunning nonetheless. last week, the intelligence community found that mr. putin did indeed direct efforts to endear fear interfere in our elections and kremlin attacked hillary clinton and directed resources to them. i'm not saying the russia efforts were decisive in the election outcome. that's not the point. the point is that we, the united states were victims of cyber attack of the democratic process. recent news accounts indicate
that russia may have information about mr. trump. they could use that to compromise our presidency. it cannot be business as usual. that is why i was proud to introduce a bipartisan bill yesterday with senator mccain and several members of this committee including senator menendez, rubio, and portman and glam and durbin to impose enhanced on election and ongoing in ukraine and syria. we need to stand up to this bully in moscow and increase the cost for his behavior and i was disappointed in your prepared opening remarks submitted to the committee yesterday, there was no mention about the tdirect confirmed cyber attack on america but find time to say it was the absence of american leadership that opened unintended signals were sent. so i want to know exactly what additional actions the united
states should have taken against russia in your view. do you, for example, support additional sanctions demonstrating leadership like what my colleagues and i introduced yesterday. mr. tillerson, i'm sure you can understand why i and many of my colleagues have concerns about your relationship with mr. putin. and this is not simply a question of what you saw when you gazed into his eyes and don't strike me as someone likely to be naive. but also, about how exxon conducted itself in supporting directly and incorrectly funding for the ools that putin has tooled to crush democracy and sent at home a vision abroad. while i do not suggest it was your intent, it's frankly not too great of a distance from exxon's business partnerships to putin's kremlin controlled slush funds essential for disinformation campaigns around the world. you will be representing a president who may blatantly ignore the consensus of 17
independent intelligent agencies who said russia interfered in our election in an unprecedented way and the same to whom made it clear that ignored the putin's of ukraine and interference with syria and russians forced partner with shia militia to shift battlefield toward a dictator guilty of war crimes. russia is for starved barrel bomb and tortured into submission and yet president-elect trump makes quick steps to make putin a close ally of the united states of america. so there's a serious discussion to be had here today about russia and the president-elect's plans for putin and we need to know and understand your views as the chairman has said on these critical issues of national security. in addition, if we take seriously that your tenure and experience at exxon serves as qualifications for secretary of state, then there's likewise a
serious discussion this committee needs to have about the potential for conflicts of interest that arise from your long corporate tenure. for far too long, u.s. foreign policy core governance issues as secondary considerations. if you become our nation's top dip ro lo mat i want to know if governance issues will be a primary consideration. i have been involved in several legislative efforts to bring transparency, foster high standards upon corrupt practices and use the tools at our disposal. i'm troubled that on many issues exxon under your leadership appears to be pushing in the opposite direction. mr. tillerson we have much to discuss. if confirmed you will assume your new job at a consequential time. i believe the united states
stands as a turning point in history. national power, economic, military, diplomatic being redefined and redistributed across the globe. international institutions, international financial and economic borders are under distress. climate change is causing irreparable harm and creating and leading to greater instability. in many parts of the world there is a view that american power, determination and our support for american values is uncertain. clearly candidate trump added to the uncertainty. we have global challenges. the middle east is undergoing a period of violence and instabilii instability. iran with confrontations to challenge regional water. there are no less than three civil wars in this part of the world. u.s. leadership is required to not only support movement toward negotiated political settlements. six years after the hope of our spring the region has entered into a long winter in which many governments are backsliding in
politics space for civil society and open economies. the middle east under scores my belief that the united states cannot pursue a security agenda. such as political inclusion, human rights and free active and civil society. without these elements, instability persists with serious implications for countering violent extremism and stemming the flow of refugees headed for europe's shore. i need to stress our important partner in this part of the world, israel, needs more than tweets about how great our relationship will be. i hope we will hear from you today concrete visions with specific proposals for the way forward and strengthening that partnership. despite challenges, encouraging opportunities exist for our country. president obama leads the next administration as an inheritance, strengthened relationships with allies in europe and asia, a re-energized
partnership with india and growing economic relations with countries across sub sahara africa that provide promising platforms to advance u.s. security and economic interests. i recognize what i have outlined may not be in line with president-elect trump's vision of the world. i believe core values like standing up against violations of international law, war crimes, human rights violations, corruption and speaking up for democracy and free speech must be at the forefront of americans' foreign policy agenda. finally i want to note if confirmed you will take over as leader of one of the most skilled and able workforces of any organization on the planet. our foreign affairs and development professionals are truly among the most able and dedicated of public servants safeguarding national security. as ranking member of the committee i benefitted greatly from insight and council over the years.
i hope you will fake advantage of the public servants of the department of state and u.s. aid should you be confirmed. they are dedicated to our nation's values and interests. i'm sure you and the nation will benefit from a full and robust partnership between your office and the department you have been nominated to lead. mr. chairman, i look forward to hearing from our witness and look forward to questioning. >> mr. tillerson, thank you for being here. i think you have been adequately introduced and the world knows more about you than they ever thought today, without using any more time, thank you for being here today. you may have family members to introduce which is always helpful. with that and then your comments. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do have members of the family with me today. my wife of more than 30 years who kept a welcoming home when i would come back from my many travels and our sons and
grandchildren. us my sister jo lynn peters, a life loej indicator, high school math teacher, math teacher coach teaching many years in the texas public school systems. my sister, dr. hamilton, a family practice physician in texas for more than 30 years and my brother-in-law judge lee hamilton who has just begun to serve his fifth term on the bench at the 104th district in abilene, texas. i appreciate so much the love and support they have given me in past endeavors and that they would come all the way from texas to be with me today. something he remains as
steadfast today as ever. if secretary gates were in service to eight u.s. presidents and his own leadership as president of the boy scouts of america. chairman corker, ranking member carden and members of the committee, it is an honor to appear before you today as president-elect trump's nominee for secretary of state and seek the approval of this committee and the full senate for my confirmation. we face considerable threats in this evolving new environment. china emerged as an economic power in global trade and our interactions have been both friendly and adversarial. while russia seeks respect and
relevance on the global stage its recent activities have disregarded america's interest. radical islam is not a new ideology, but it is hateful, deadly and an illegitimate expression of the islamic faith. adversaries like iran and north korea pose grave threats to the world because of their refusal to conform to international norms. as we confront realities how should america respond? my answer is simple. to achieve the stability that's foundational to peace and security in the 21st century. american leadership must not only be renewed. it must be asserted. we have many advantages on which to build. our alliances are durable and our allies are looking for return of leadership. our men and women in uniform are the world's finest fighting force. [ shouting ]
>> my home was destroyed. senators, be brave. protect my community. protect america. rex tillerson, i reject you. i reject you. my home was destroyed by hurricane sandy. >> our men and women in uniform are the world's finest fighting force. we possess the world's largest economy. america is still the destination of choice for people the world over because of our track record of benevolence and hope for our fellow man. america has been indispensable in providing the stability to prevent another world war, increase global prosperity and encourage the expansion of liberty. our role in the world has also historically entailed a place of moral leadership in the scope of international affairs america's level of good will toward the world is unique. we must continue to display a commitment to personal liberty, human dignity and principled
action in foreign policy. quite simply, we are the only global super power with the means and the moral compass capable of shaping the world for good. if we do not lead we risk plunging the world deeper into confusion and danger. but we have stumbled. in recent decades we cast american leadership into doubt. in some instances we have withdrawn from the world. in others we have intervened with good intentions but didn't achieve stability and global security we sought. instead our actions and our nonactions have triggered a host of unintended consequences and created a void of uncertainty. today our friends still want to help us. but they don't know how. meanwhile our adversaries have been emboldened to take advantage of the absence of american leadership. in this campaign, president-elect trump proposed a bold new commitment to advancing
american interests in our foreign policy. i hope to explain what this approach means and how i would implement it if confirmed as secretary of state. americans welcome this rededication to american security, liberty and prosperity. but new leadership is incomplete without accountability. if accountability doesn't start with ourselves, we cannot credibly extend it to our friends and adversaries. we must hold ourselves accountable to upholding the promises we make to others and an america that can be trusted in good faith is essential to achieving our goals and assuring our security. we must hold our allies accountable to commitments they make. we cannot look the other way at allies who do not meet their obligations. this is an injustice not only to us but to long standing friends who honor their promises and bolster our own national security such as israel.
we must hold those who aren't our friends accountable to the agreements they make. our failure to do this over the recent decades diminished our standing and encouraged bad actors around the world to break their word. we cannot afford to ignore violations of international affords as we have done with iran. we cannot continue to accept empty promises like the ones china made to pressure north korea to reform only to shy away from enforcement. looking the other way when trust is broken only encourages more bad behavior. it must end. we cannot be accountable though if we are not truthful and honest in our dealings. as you are aware, my longstanding involvement with the boy scouts of america, one of our bedrock ideals is honesty. indeed the phrase "on my honor" begins the boy scout oath. it must undergird our foreign policy. in particular, we need to be honest about radical islam.
it is with good reason our fellow citizens have a growing concern about radical islam and acts committed in its name against americans and our friends. radical islam poses a grave risk to the stability of nations and the well-being of citizens. powerful digital media platforms now allow isis, al qaeda, and other terror groups to spread a poisonous ideology that runs counter to the values of the american people and all people around the world who value human life. these groups are often enabled and emboldened by nations, organizations and individuals sympathetic to their cause. these actors must face consequences for aiding and abetting what can only be called evil. the most urgent step in thwarting radical islam is defeating isis. the middle east and its surrounding regions have many challenges which require our attention including syria, iraq
and afghanistan. there are competing priorities which must be and will be addressed but they must not distract from our mission of defeating isis. because when everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. defeating isis must be our foremost priority in the middle east. eliminating isis would be the first step in disrupting the capabilities of other groups and individuals committed to striking our homeland and our allies. the demise of isis would allow us to increase our attention on other agents of radical islam like al qaeda, the muslim brotherhood and certain elements within iran. but defeat will not occur on the battlefield alone. we must win the war of ideas. if confirmed i will ensure the state department does its part in supporting muslims around the world who reject radical islam in all its forms. we should also acknowledge the realities about china.
china's island building in the south china sea is an illegal taking of disputed areas without regard for international norms. china's economic and trade practices haven't always followed commitments to global agreements. it steals our intellectual property and is aggressive and expansionist in the digital realm. it has not been a reliable partner in using its full influence to curb north korea. china has proven a willingness to act with abandon in the pure suit of its own goals which at times put it in conflict with american interests. if we have to deal with what we see, not what we hope. but we need to see the positive dimensions in our relationship with china as well. the economic well-being of the two nations is deeply intertwined. china has been a valuable ally in curtailing certain elements of radical islam. we should not let disagreements over other issues exclude areas
for productive partnership. we must be clear eyed about our relationship with russia. it is not unpredictable in predicting its own interests. it invaded the ukraine including the taking of crimea and supported forces that violates the laws of war. our nato allies are right to be alarmed at a resurgence russia. it is in the absence of american leadership the door was left open and unintended signals were sent. we backtracked on commitments made to allies. we sent weak or mixed signals with red lines that turned into green lights. we didn't recognize that russia does not think like we do. words alone do not sweep away a contentious history between our two nations. we need an open and frank dialogue with russia regarding
ambitions so we know how to chart our own course. where cooperation with russia is possible such as reducing the global threat of terrorism we ought to explore these options. where important differences remain we should be steadfast in defending the interests of america and her allies. russia must know that we will be accountable to our commitments and those of our allies and that russia must be held to account for its actions. our approach to human rights begins by acknowledging that leadership requires moral clarity. we don't face a choice on defending global human rights. our values are our interests when it comes to human rights and humanitarian assistance. it is unreasonable to expect that every policy endeavor will be driven by human rights considerations alone. especially when the security of the american people is at stake.
but our leadership demands actions specifically focused on improving the conditions of people the world over utilizing both aid and where appropriate economic sanctions as instruments of foreign policies. we must adhere to standards of accountability. our recent engagements with cuba wasn't companied by concessions on human rights. we have not held them accountable for conduct. their leaders received much while the people received little. that serves neither the interests of cubans or americans. abraham lincoln declared america is the last best hope of earth. our moral right must not go out if we are to remain an agent for freedom of man kind. supporting human rights and the policy is essential to showing the watching world what america stands for. in closing let us be proud about
the di the ideals that define us. the culture of americans who came before us made the united states the greatest nation in history. so have their sacrifices. we should never forget we stand on the shoulders of those who sacrificed much and in some cases everything. they include fallen heroes in uniform. our foreign services officers and other americans in the field who gave all for their country. if confirmed in my work for the president and the american people i will seek to engender trust with foreign leaders and governments and put in place agreements that serve the interests of american foreign policy. the secretary of state works for the president and seeks to implement his foreign policy about t objectives. i must work with my cabinet colleagues and all relevant departments of the administration to build
consensus. let me stress that keeping the president's trust means keeping the public trust. keeping in public trust means keeping faith with their elected representatives. i want the members of the committee to know that should i be confirmed i will listen to your concerns and those of your staff and partner together to achieve great things for the country we all love. i am an engineer by training. i seek to understand the facts, follow where they lead and apply logic to all international affairs. we must see the world for what it is, have clear priorities and understand it is not infinite. we must build partnerships and strengthen old bonds which have frayed. if confirmed i intend to conduct a foreign policy consistent with these ideals. we will never apologize for who we are or what we hold dear. we will see the world for what
it is, be honest with ourselves and the american people, follow facts where they lead us and hold ourselves and others accountable. i thank you for your time and look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much for your testimony. do you commit to appear and testify upon request from this committee? >> yes, sir. >> with that i will -- i know the committee members and i rarely give opening statements, certainly not expansive ones like i gave. in order to move this along i will reserve my time for interjections and move to the ranking member senator carden and then senator rubio. >> once again, thank you very much, mr. tillerson. do you agree with me that creating a stable democratic free societies around the world that support the aspirations of their people including basic human rights is in our long-term national security interest? >> without question, senator. >> do you agree that russia under mr. putin's leadership fails in that category?
>> yes, sir. >> in order to provide national leadership thousands of people in russia have been harmed or killed as a result of mr. putin's leadership. millions have been impacted by that. there is one person who lost his life in a courageous way sergei miknikski, a young attorney representing a client with u.s. interests. found corruption, did what any lawyer is supposed to do -- report it to the authorities. as a result he was arrested, tortured and killed. and those who benefitted from the corruption were held with no accountability whatsoever. through u.s. leadership we brought that case to the international forum. congress has passed a law. other countries have now passed
similar laws to deny our banking system and the right to visit our country to those who perpetrated the violations of human rights that were not held accountable by russia. do you support that law? >> yes, sir, i do. >> thank you for that. under the obama administration there have been 39 individuals sanctioned under that law and five more added on monday. that law provides for congress to be able to submit through appropriate channels additional names to be reviewed by the administration for inclusion for sanctions. do you commit that you will follow that provision on names that we submit to you for potential sanctions for human rights violations under that law? >> senator, i will ensure that if confirmed myself and the state department will comply with that law.
>> this year under the defense authorization act that was extended globally. that applies to human rights violations throughout the world. do you also commit to support the global law using the tools of our visa restrictions to our country. >> consistent with all applicable laws that might impact immigration we'll endeavor to comply, yes. >> the law allowed the secretary of state -- visas are privileges that come to america. there is no due process issue on issuing a visa. this is a privilege to come to a country. so we have -- there is no -- i'm not aware of any restrictions on your ability to with draw the right of someone to come to america.
other than treaties with diplomats. >> i understand. that's what i intended. that an examination was made of any and all applicable laws or policies and we would follow those and imply meant. >> you mentioned in your statement about the invasion by russia of crimea, does russia in your view have a legal claim to crimea? >> no, sir. that was a taking of territory that was not theirs. >> do you agree that russia has not complied with a minesisk agreement? >> the process as i understand it continues. a full completion has not yet been achieved. >> so i want to get your view on the sanctions that the united states applied. maybe i will drill down by asking you the first question.
you stated in your statement that part of the reason why russia or we were ineffective in preventing russia is we didn't exercise strong enough international leadership. what would you have done or recommended to have been done to prevent russia from doing what it did? >> in terms of the taking of crimea, i think my understanding is that caught a lot of people by surprise. it certainly caught me by surprise, just as a private citizen. i think the real question was the taking of crimea which led to actions by russia which i mentioned. the next action being coming across the border of eastern ukraine with both military assets and men. that was the next illegal action. i think the absence of a firm and forceful response to the taking of crimea was judged by
the leadership in russia as a weak response. >> what would you have done after we were surprised by what they did in taking over crimea, what should the u.s. leadership have done in response to that that we didn't do? >> i would have recommended that the ukraine take all of its military assets available, put them on the eastern border, provide assets with defensive weapons that are necessary just to defend themselves, announce that the u.s. is going to provide them intelligence and that either nato or u.s. will provide air surveillance over the border to monitor movements. >> your recommendation is a more robust supply of military? >> yes, sir. i think what russian leadership would have understood is a powerful response that indicated, yes, you took crimea,
but this stops here. >> our nato partners, particularly in the baltics and poland, are very concerned about russian aggression. nato has deployed troops in order to show russia that article five means something. i take it you support that type of action. >> i do. that's the type of response russia expects. if russia acts with force, taking of crimea was an act of force. it indicates to russia there will be no more taking of territory. >> that's encouraging. it's not consistent with what mr. trump has been saying in regards to article v, commitments under nato by the united states. i appreciate your commitment or views on the issue. let me get to the response that was done.
we imposed u.s. led sanctions against russia as a result of conduct in ukraine. the united states wanted to go further but we couldn't get europe to go beyond what they were willing to do. do you agree or disagree with the strategy for the united states to lead by showing sanctions as we did? >> senator, sanctions are an important and powerful tool in terms of deterring additional action once actors have acted up and we want to deter further action on their part. so, yes, american leadership is often times, if not almost always required to demonstrate that first step. >> as you understand, unless we move and we have to move in a strong position, we are going to be the best. we're going to get the strongest reaction on sanctions from the united states.
we saw it in iran and i know that some of us mentioned to you the legislation that was followed yesterday. i don't know if we have had a chance yet to respond or not. i might do that for questions for for the record. we have legislation, i would urge you to look at that seems consistent with what you are saying here that would provide the administration with the tools to show russia that if you attack us by cyber or you continue to do what you're doing in ukraine or what you are doing in georgia that there will be an economic price you're going to pay. i take it you believe that's a powerful tool and one that you would consider applying. >> senator, i have not had the opportunity to review the legislation. i am aware it's been introduced. yes, i think in carrying out the state department diplomacy or its important role in trying to negotiate to a different course of action to a different pathway
we need a strong deterrent in our hand. it's the old tenet of roosevelt, walk softly and carry a big stick. it is useful to have a stick that's in your hand in diplomacy so whether you use it or not becomes part of that conversation. >> i appreciate that. let me ask a final question. i was meeting with mr. pruitt yesterday and i asked about his view on climate issues. he said you should ask the secretary of state nominee. so i will ask you. we were part of come 21. do you agree the united states should continue in international leadership on climate change issues with the international community? >> i think it is important that the united states maintain its seat at the table on conversations around how to address threats of climate change which do require a global response. no one country will solve this
alone. >> thank you. senator rubio? >> welcome. do you believe during the 2016 presidential campaign russian intelligence services directed a campaign of active measures involving the hacking of e-mails, the strategic leak of e-mails, the use of internet trolls and dissemination of fake news to denigrate a presidential candidate and under mine faith in your election process? >> senator, i have had no unclassified briefings because i have not yet received clearance. i did read a report released january 6 which is clearly troubling and indicates that all of the actions you described were undertaken. >> based on your knowledge of russian leaders and politics do you believe the activities could have happened without the knowledge and consent of vladimir putin? >> i'm not in a position to make that determination. that's indicated in the report. but i know there is additional classified information.
>> you have engaged in significant business activities in russia. i'm sure you are aware that very few things of major proportion happen in that country without vladimir putin's permission. i ask based on your views of russian politics and your experience, is it possible for something like this involving the united states elections to have happened without vladimir putin knowing about it and authorizing it? >> that's a fair assumption. >> that he would have. >> yes. >> if congress passed the bill imposing mandatory visa bans and asset free sanctions on persons who engage in significant activities under mining the private or public infrastructure and democratic institutions in the united states would you advise the president to sign it? >> i would certainly want to examine all the corners, all four corners of that. >> those are the four corners. we would sanction people involved in cyber attacks against the united states and interfering in our elections. >> the threat of cyber attacks is a broad issue. those are coming from many
corners of the world. certainly this most recent manifestation and i think the new threat posed in terms of how russia has used this as a tool, that introduces even another element of threat. cyber attacks are occurring from many nations. >> no matter where they come from. if they come from belgium or france, if someone is conducting cyber attacks against the united states and we pass a law that authorizes the president to sanction them or imposes sanctions as mandatory would you advise the president to sign it? >> i think it is the second element that leaves the executive branch no latitude or flexibility in dealing with the broad array of cyber threats. i think it is important those be dealt with on a country by country basis. taking all other elements into consideration in the relationship. so giving the executive the tool is one thing. requiring the executive to use it without any other considerations, i would have concerned about.
>> i understand your testimony. you are saying it was mandatory. you would not advise the president to sign it because you want to have the president have the flexibility to decide which countries to sanction and which ones to not sanction. >> under which circumstances do you sanction? >> in essence because you want to, for example, take other things into account like for example the desire to improve relations with that country and therefore the president maybe doesn't want to sanction them though they are attacking us. >> there could be a whole array of important issues that require consideration including trading issues. trade relation issues, mutual agreements around our national security. so i don't think it's appropriate and certainly for me at this time to indicate that i would just say it's a blanket application. that's the role of the executive branch. it is the role of the secretary of state and the state department to assist and inform the president in judgments about
how to use what is clearly a powerful tool. >> again, what's troubling about your answer is the implication that somehow if there is some country that we are trying to improve relgtss with or have significant ties with the president, you may advise the president not to impose sanctions on that country or individuals in that country out of concern that it could damage the rest of our relationship with them on a cyber attack which is a direct attack on our national security, our electoral process. would you advise the president-elect to repeal the obama administration's recent executive orders regarding cyber security and russian interference in the 2016 elections? >> i think the president-elect has indicated and if confirmed i would support that what's really required is a comprehensive assessment of our cyber threat and cyber security policies. in my view based on what i have been able to read and have been briefed we do not have a cyber security policy.
we do not have a comprehensive strategy around how to deal with what's been a rapidly emerging threat. as i said, we are seeing it manifest itself in ways that we never envisioned. >> mr. tillerson, i understand the cyber security plan. we have to have one to protect ourselves and handle cyber attacks. that's the question of whether people have already performed attacks should be singled out. an executive order that sanctioned those individuals and my question is do you believe that executive order should be repealed by the incoming president. >> if confirmed i would want to examine all aspects of it in consultation not only with the president but with other agencies having impact on this as to their views. >> again, mr. tillerson, if they say certain individuals responsible for cyber actions against the united states will be sanctioned and you need to examine whether that's a good idea or not, is that correct?
>> yes, sir. >> let me ask you. is vladimir putin a war criminal? >> i would not use that term. >> let me describe the situation in aleppo. he has directed his military to conduct a devastating campaign. he's targeted schools, markets. not just assisted the syrians. his military targeted schools, markets, other infrastructure resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians. this is not the first time mr. putin was involved in campaigns of this kind. back when he was just appointed prime minister before he was ele elected. there was a series of bombings. they blamed it on the chechans. mr. putin ordered the air force to bomb their capital with scud missiles to hit hospitals, the main market, 137 people died instantly. they used thermal bar rack and field explosive bombs which ignite and burn the air breathed
in by people hiding. he used battlefield weapons against civilians. an estimated 300,000 civil yans were killed and the city was destroyed. there was a credible body of reporting, open source and other, that all the bombings were part of a black flag operation on the part of the fsb and if you want to know the motivation, here it is. putin's approval ratings before the attacks were 31%. by mid august of that year it was 78% in just three months. based on this information and what's publically in the record about what happened in aleppo and the russian military you are not prepared to say vladimir putin and his military violated the rules of war and conducted war crimes in aleppo. >> those are very serious charges to make. i would want to have much more information before reaching a conclusion. i understand there is a body of record in the public domain. there is a body of record in the
classified domain. in order to deal with a serious question like this. >> in the public domain, video and pictures are there. >> -- fully informed before advising the president. >> there is so much information about what happened in aleppo. what happened is clearly documented. there is so much information. it should not be hard to say that vladimir putin's military conducted war crimes in aleppo. it is never acceptable, you would agree, for a military to specifically target civilians which happened there through the russian military and, you know, i find it discouraging, your inability to cite that which i think is globally accepted. i want to in my last minute and a half move quickly. i want to enter into things into the record. >> without objection. >> the first is a partial list of dissidents, journalists and critics of putin who died under highly suspicious circumstances. the second thing is a letter
addressed to this committee by vladimir morza who was murdered. i would like to enter that into the record. >> without objection. >> mr. tillerson, do you believe that vladimir putin and his cronies are responsible for ordering the murder of countless dissidents, journalists and political opponents? >> i don't have sufficient information to make that claim. >> are you aware people who oppose vladimir putin wind up dead all over the world -- poisoned, shot in the back of the head? do you think that's coincidental or possible or likely they were part of an effort to murder his political opponents? >> people who speak for freedom and regimes that are oppressive are often a threat. these things happen to them. in terms of assigning specific responsibilities, i would have to have more information.
as i indicated i feel it is important in advising the president if confirmed that i deal with facts, i deal with sufficient information which means having access to all information. i'm sure there is a large body of information i have never seen that's in the classified realm. i look forward, if confirmed to becoming fully informed. am not willing to make conclusions on what's only publically available or -- >> none of this is classified. these people are dead. political opponenting -- >> your question was people who were directly responsible for that. i'm not disputing the people are dead. >> senator mendez. >> congratulations on your nomination. thank you for coming to meet with me. i would like to take the opportunity to expand upon the conversation we had last week. since you have worked in one sector for one company throughout your entire career, getting a sense of your world view is incredibly important
since you will be the chief advocate and adviser to the president-elect on those issues. i would like to go through a series of questions. i think many of them can be answered by a simple yes or no. others will probably take a greater, more extensive answer. you have alluded to some of this in your opening statement. let me go through several of them. do you believe it is in the national interest of the united states to continue to support international laws and norms that were established after world war ii. >> yes, sir. >> do you believe that the international order includes respecting the territorial integrity of sovereign countries in the viability of their borders. >> yes, sir. >> did russia violate this order when it forcefully annexed crimea and invade ukraine. >> yes. >> did russia's continuing occupation of foreign countries violate international laws and norms? >> i'm not sure which specific countries you are referring to. >> the annexation of crimea.
>> yes, sir. >> eastern ukraine, georgia, just to mention a few? >> yes, sir. >> does russia and syria's targeted campaign on aleppo violate the international order? >> yes. that's not acceptable behavior. >> do you believe the actions constitute war crimes? >> again, senator, i don't have sufficient information to make that type of a serious conclusion. coming to that conclusion is going to require me to have additional specific facts. >> do you understand the standard and knowing the standard and what is all within the realm of public information you cannot say whether those actions constitute a war crime? >> i would not want to rely solely on what was reported in the public realm. i want confirmation from agencies able to present me with facts. >> senator menendez, let me --
>> if you won't take my time. >> it will be added back. >> if you add sufficient evidence in looking at classified information that had taken place would that not be a war crime? . >> yes, sir. >> thank you. >> for all of the answers you have given me does the president-elect agree with zb u zblou -- you? >> we have not discussed this specific area. >> on page three of your statement you say in this campaign president-elect trump -- commitment to advance american interests in foreign policy. i hope to explain what this approach means and how i would implement this policy if confirmed as secretary of state. i assume to some degree you have had discussion about what it is that the world view would be in order to understand whether you can execute that on behalf of the person you will work for. >> in terms of the principles
that will guide it, yes, sir. >> i would have thought russia would be at the top of that considering the actions that have taken place. >> that has not occurred yet, senator. >> that's amazing. you built a career on exxon mobil that you said afforded you the opportunity to engage regularly with world leaders including vladimir putin in russia. in 2013 he awarded you the order of friendship award. in our conversations you told me you had direct and personal access to the russian president over the course of your tenure there. then in 2014, exxon mobil lobbied aggressively after their invasion. you employed lobbyists who support the efforts. you visited the white house and reported you were engaged at the highest level of government. in essence, exxon became the in house lobbyist for russia
against sanctions. sanctions are one of the most effective diplomatic tools in our arsenal. one we rely on to avoid putting american lives at risk in additional kinetic warfare. today in response to the previous question you said sanctions are a powerful tool. you have made statements and given speeches where you said you do not believe sanctions are a useful tool. if sanctions aren't a useful tool have you changed your view? what are the tools of peaceful diplomacy you will use to get countries to return and act within the international order? what are you going to say to vladimir putin when he says, rex, you said sanctions were bad. >> i think it is important to acknowledge that when sanctions are imposed by design they are going to harm american business. that's the idea to disrupt
america's business engagement in whatever country is being targeted for sanctions. >> i don't think it's to disrupt american business. i think it is to disrupt the economies of those countries. now american business may or may not be affected to some degree. >> american business -- if america is going to have an influence on disrupting the economies then the intent is to disrupt their access to american business, investment, money flow, technology. >> the financial sectors. >> so i'm only stating a fact, not debating it. sanctions in order to be implemented impact american business interests. in protecting america's interests and this is where the president see it is argument as well. sanctions are a powerful tool. let's design them well, target
them well. let's enforce them fully. to the extent we can, if we can have other countries join us or if we are designing sanctions in concert, apply sanctions equally everywhere. >> when you made the remarks and i have a long list i will introduce for the record. you didn't differentiate that way. you made the proed case that sanctions aren't an effective tool. you made your response now. but in your opening statement you said america must continue to display principled action in foreign policy and the only global super power with the means and moral compass capable of shaping the world for good. i agree in that respect. our efforts in leading the international community in sanctions against our adversaries like iran and north korea represent that. and a moral compass.
it is not about disadvantaging american businesses. it is about putting patriotism over profit. diplomacy isn't the same as deal-making. it requires getting other countries to do things they may not always want to do. there isn't necessarily something to trade for it. this is how we were able to build an extensive and effective sanctions network against iran. through legislation from congress and diplomatic pressure from secretaries of state across different administrations. we were able to build the framework of primary and secondary x actions that crippled iran's economy. you lobbied against the iran sanctions accountability and divestment act which i was the author of. reportedly under exxon mobil -- and i say you as the head of exxon mobil -- wanted to eliminate secondary sanctions to prevent joint ventures. this makes sense as in 2003 and 2004 and 2005 you were engaged to a subsidiary company in
businesses with countries who the united states listed as state sponsors of terrorism including iran, syria and the sudan. countries that except for the maneuver of your subsidiary exxon mobil could not have been dealing with. exxonmobil is listed as an advocacy group that lobbies against sanctions. the group lobbied against sanctions including against iran. so my question is with that as a history, with the work that you did in the spring of 2011 where you over saw a deal with the government of iraq after the united states government expressly didn't want that to happen fearing a deal would you should mine the u.s. policy of one iraq and lead the country closer to civil war, what message are you now going to be
able to send to american businesses who are intent on pursuing their own interests at the expense of u.s. policies and potential for political stability in
foreign countries? how are you going to recalibrate your priorities as secretary of state? your shareholders are the american people and their security and interests. >> there was a lot in that question. i have never lobbied against sanctions. >> the company you directed did. >> to my knowledge exxon never directly lobbied against sanctions, to my knowledge. in terms of all the other actions that were mentioned taken with a great deal of transparency and openness, engagement to the process, that's the beauty of the american process. others are invited to inform the
process. my pivot now if confirmed to be secretary of state will have one mission only. that's to represent the interests of the american people. as i have stated multiple times, sanctions are an important powerful tool. but designing sanctions can have a worse effect than having no sanctions at all. if they convey a weak response. so it's important in designing sanctions as i said that they are carefully crafted and targeted with an intended effect and then enforced. to the extent american leadership can broaden participation in the sanctions and you're exactly right the iran sanctions were effective because others joined in. >> thank you. senator menendez played an incredible role for our nation making sure sanctions are in place and has led us all
relative to iran. as my first longer interjection your time ran over to accommodate the interjection i made earlier. it's my understanding, i think you called me during this time, that your concern with the sanctions that were in place relative to iran were not that they were put in place but that the europeans put them in a way that was different. it caused adverse situation for u.s. business relative to european businesses. is that correct? >> with respect to the sanctions for russia, that's correct. >> with that, let me just on senator rubio's questions, i understand how the nominee would wish to be careful how they answer, especially one that plans to do what they say. in the event where he was asking
about war crimes, if you were able through your own independent knowledge in working with classified agencies here within the government to determine that the types of activities that he so well articulated took place, you would agree that those, in fact, would be war crimes? >> yes, sir. >> senator johnson? >> mr. chairman, welcome, mr. tillerson. imagine you're having a good time already. i want to pick up a little bit on sanctions. i have had my own concerns about the effectiveness of sanctions and the double edged sword nature of them. for example, you are pretty well aware of events and public opinion inside russia. i'm concerned that some not well designed sanctions can solidify, for example, vladimir putin's standing within russia. is that a legitimate concern on
sanctions? . . >> yes, sir, i think it is. >> in your testimony, a couple of statements. you said russia is not unpredictable which means russia is pretty predictable. russia doesn't think like we do. can you further expand on those comments? >> well, in terms of their -- [ shouting ] >> -- they both want to burn the arctic. that will ruin the climate and destroy the future for our children and grandchildren. please don't put exxon in charge of the state department. protect our children and grandchildren. please don't put exxon in charge of the state department. >> if you would, i can easily add time myself. if we would stop the clock when these interferences take place it would be appreciated. with that, senator johnson? >> if you forgot the question,
explain your comments that russia is predictable basically and that russia doesn't think like we do. expand on that. >> well, in my experience of both dealing with russia and representatives of russian government and russian entities and then as my -- the length of time i have spent in russia as an observer, my experience with the russians are that they are calculating. they are very strategic in their thinking and they develop a plan. [ shouting ] >> you have treated the world's vulnerable communities as expendable. in texas people are resisting pipelines. whether or not you become secretary of state, oil is dead and people will not stop. senators, be brave. stop this man. protect the vulnerable. senators, be brave. reject this man.
protect the vulnerable. >> mr. tillerson, maybe answer the question unimpeded. >> i have found the russians to be very strategic in their thinking. very tactical. they generally have a very clear plan they have laid before them. so in terms of when i make the statement they are not unpredictable, if one is able to step back and understand what their long-term motivation is and you see that they are going to chart a course it's an understanding of how are they likely to carry the plan out? and where are all of the elements of that plan that are on the table and in my view the leadership of russia has a plan. it is a geographic plan that's in front of them. they are taking action to implement that plan. they are making the next step
based on the response. in that regard they are not unpredictable. if russia doesn't receive an adequate response to an action they will execute the next step of the plan. >> be more specific. summarize the plan that you see they have. >> well, russia, more than anything, wants to re-establish its role in the global world order. they have a view that following the break-up of the soviet union, they were mistreated in some respects in the transition period. they believe they deserve a rightful role in the global world order because they are a nuclear power. and they are searching as to how to establish that. and for most of the past 20-plus years since the demise of the soviet union they were not in a position to assert that. they have spent all of these years developing the capability to do that. i think that's now what we are
witnessing is an assertion on their part in order to force a conversation about what is russia's role in the global world order. so the steps being taken are simply to make the point that russia is here, russia matters, and we are a force to be dealt with. that is a fairly predictable course of action they are taking. i think the important conversation that we have to have with them is does russia want to now and forever be an adversary of the united states. do you want this to get worse or does russia desire a different relationship? we are not likely to ever be friends. i think as others noted our value systems are starkly different. we do not hold the same values. but i also know the russian people because of having spent so many years in russia. there is scope to define a different relationship that can bring down the temperature
around the conflicts we have today and i think secretary gates alluded to and secretary nunn alluded to in their opening remarks, dialogue is critical so these things do not spin out of control. remarks, that dialogue is critical so that these things do not spin out of control. we need to move russia from being an adversary to partner and in other issues, a adversary, and not unlike the comments on china. at times china is friendly, ad at times thaw are an adversary, but with russia, engagement is necessary in order to define what is that relationship go in to be, and then we will know how to chart our own plan of action to respond to that. >> in my mind, looking at the different asian nations, you have rivals, allies, friend ly
adversaries, so you are putting russia in the friendly -- >> unfriend wily to enemy categ. they are unfriend ly, and i hop they do not move to enemy, because it will imply more direct conflict with one another. >> but you don't have much hope to move them into the maybe partners of mutual interests? >> senator, i tend to think in three categories. friends, and they are our partners and they are our adversaries, and at times, certain that our friends are partners from time to time on specific action, and adversaries from time to time can be partners, but on other issues, we are just not going to agree and we remain adversaries, and adversary at the ideological level is one thing, and adversary at the direct conflict level, that is very different. >> i want to switch subjects and
i agree with former senator nunn when he says that your business sector experience, and the relationship with putin is actually an asset coming into the position. i come from the private sector and i think that perspective is sorely needed. i don't think that we enough people from the private sector. i think that economic strength is inextricably valuable. how many kcountries you been to? >> i would say somewhere between 40 or 50 country, and i have never counted them. >> how many countries have you done deals with or dealt with the top leadership? >> i have never counted those, but it is certainly in the between 10 and 20 where i was directly engaged in a significant way. >> let me ask you as somebody
from the private sector being asked to serve your nation, understanding that you will be going through a process like this, and understanding a all of the disclosure, and leaving a life behind that i am sure that you valued. what is the greatest reservation saying yes? >> senator when i went through all of the analysis all of the reasons to say no were all selfish reason, and so i had no reason to say no. >> you obviously had a responsibility as a ceo for exxonmobil and you share responsibility, and your role is going to change. do you have any rezervation and can you just kind of describe exactly what the mindset is from making that transition? >> senator, i have no reservations about my clean break with my private sector life. it was a wonderful 41 1/2-year
career. i am extraordinarily proud of it. i learned an awful lot, but now i am moving to a completely different responsibility. my love of country, and my patriotism is going to dictate that i serve no one's interest but our american people in advancing our national security. >> as you are traveling the world with the business mindset, working at developing projects around the world, you know, obviously, you are hearing from people around the world. former president carter in june of 2015 was commenting on president obama's foreign policy and here's some excerpts of the quotes, and he said that he can't think of many nations in the world where we have a better relati relationship now than when we did when he took over, president obama. the united states' influence and prestige in the world is now lower than it was six or seven year years. is that your general sense as you are traveling around the world in the last eight years of
this administration that our power and influence and prestige and respect is lower, and that we have not developed better relationship relationships around the world? >> well, senator, i don't know if i shared wit you in the meeting that we have, but i have shared wit others in the meetings that in many are respects i have spent the last ten years on an unintended listening tour as i have traveled around the world conducting after fairs and engaging with the top leaderships and the heads of state in many of the countries and i have had the opportunity to listen to them express their frustrations, the fears, the concerns as to the withdrawal of the american leadership aband they are yearning and they want american leadership reasserted. when i met with the president-elect, i asked ultimately to do this, u i indicated to him, and i said, mr. president, we have a tough hand of cards that you have been dealt, but i said, you know, there is no use of whining about it or complaining or pointing the fingers at anyone, but we
will play the hand out, because what i know is that america still holds all of the aces, but we have to draw them out of the the deck. and the leaders a tornado world want our engagement. you are going to be pushing on the open door, because people want america to come back. >> and a one of the reasons they va -- is that i really value the opening statement of people from the private sector is moral chairty, moral light, use logic, clear prior tis and those are the words of the business person and that is why your perspective is very welcomed in the state department. thank you, mr. tillerson and mr. chairma chairman. >> jeanne shaheen. >> thank you, mr. tillerson for being willing to consider the nomination which has been put forward to be secretary of state. i agree with the opening
statement that the united states has an important role to play in the world, and not only standing up for values, but press freedom, and human rights and rule of law. you were unwilling to agree with senator rubio's characterization of is a lad mere putin as a war criminal, and you point out in your statement that russia has disregarded american interests. i would suggest as i think that has been brought out in later testimony that in not only di e disregarded the american interest, but the international norms and the humanitarian interests. the state department has described russia as having an authoritarian political system dominated by president vladimir putin and meanwhile, freedom house put russia in a categoryff countries like iran with are restricted political rights ruled by one part military dictatorships and the are s o
autocr autocrats. do you any reason to disagree with that? >> no. >> and so senator rubio and others have talked about the victims of the putin regime in russia and behind me is a poster with a recent new york times' sto story that i quote, "more of the kremlins' opponents are ending up dead, and i would like to have unanimous consent to enter the article into the record. >> without objection. >> and a picture is worth a million words, and when you put a face to sergei mitviski and we should look at how it deals with
how we deal with the country and the administration. and so former senator nunn, and secretary gate, they both talked about having the need to dialogue with russia and continue the mill-to-mill relationship, but it is important to understand who we are dealing with. in 2008, you notably said that there is no respect for the rule of law in russia today, and do you believe that continues to be true? >> that is still the case, yes. >> so i think that you can pr probably understand. mr. tillerson, why some of us are very concerned about the president-elect's statements praising vladimir putin's leadership and intelligence including after being reminded of the ruthless persecution of the political enemies and after receiving compelling information that russia has interfered with t the elections, and so do you think that now is the right time to lift sanctions against russia? >> i think it is important that
we keep the status quo until we are able to develop what our approach is going to to be. that it will be all part of the approach, and that is the ins incentives on the one hand or the part of the greater pressure on the other that will be important element developing that approach of that first conversation with russia. if if confirmed, that is the foreign policy step to work through other agencies and again informed in the national security council, and as well as informed by the views of others to develop that strategic approach to engage with russia. so i would leave things in the status quo so that we have, are able to convey that this can go either way. >> under your leadership,
exxonmobil has invested more than $100 million in the global women's economic opportunity initiative partnering with the u.s. government and foreign governments. as you know, the state department also places a high priority on the global women's empowerment, on gender equity and combatting violence against women. and i was disturbed to find out who the employees of the state department have been who worked for the gender equity programs, and while it has been walked back, it is sending a a chilling message to the people in the state department and people concerned about efforts to empower women around the globe. so can i ask whether you agree that we should continue that initiative to empower women, and what steps you would take to ensure that the state department and usaid create programs to
continue growth for women's issues? >> this is a long-term issue that is personally important to me as well. i have seen first-hand the impact of em pow erring women, and in particular, women's participation in the economic activities in the lesser developed part of the world. this is a really empower area to you, and we talked about it in your office, and there are study after study to confirm that when you are empowering women in these develop iing parts of the world, you change the future of the country, because you change the cycle within that family, whether that woman has daughterers or sons, and when you are empowering the woman, and they see them participating in economic level, it changes the way they will view things as they grow. i have seen specific examples and visited programs in pap pew wa new againny by having a
coalition papua new guinea, and having a coalition of bread make, and what they need is the wherewithal for new businesses. and interesting when the women were successful in selling the breads up and down the villages of the trails and the jungle and the next concern when it came to our folks is that we have this money and we are hiding it all over the place, and we are worried that somebody is stealinging it, and what do we do? so they were assisted to opening up a bank account, and so this is an example of thinking oversomebody who starts with nothing, and doesn't know what a bank is now all of the sudden they have a bank account, and it will change the children and the cycle within that area. so these are extraordinarily powerful programs. >> i agree with that, and does it mean that you will commit to continuing the programs if you are confirmed as secretary of state. >> yes, ma'am, i think it is an
important part of all of ur foreign aid efforts whether it is the usaid or through other opportunities that we have in more structured ways. >> thank you. under your leadership, and in 2012 exxonmobil's foundation also help to develop a road map for promoting women's economic empowerment that is specifically cited access to family planning and row are productive health services as a means to productivity and earning potential for women. you and i also served as with discussed in 2010 on the international strategic commission on global health policy which also advocated for expanded access to family health services. will you continue to pledge qua quality family planning, and reproductive services for women worldwide and ensure that the resources and access to the p programs are not conflated with support of aba bortion. >> senator, there are statutory
requirements around the foreign aid well known to myself and yourself as well. as i understand it, we currently invest a little bit or something around half a billion a year in programs directed at a family planning through foreign assistance. i think that is an important level of support. >> so do i take that as a yes? >> well, i would want to, if confirmed, and i have the opportunity to examine all of the aspects of that program, but i am aware that we spend half a billion now. >> well, as you know, if the approximately 225 million women worldwide with unmet family planning needs had access to modern modes of contraception, we would see 52 million fewer unintended pregnancies resulting in 62,000 fewer stillborns and
60,000 fewer mistarnlgs and 15 million fewer unsafe abortions so i attest that it is not only humanitarian issue, but a critical issue. and now twiw i want to pivot to russia for a moment. in the report that says that russia has given us more on-site inspection, and do you believe that continuing to support those efforts is important to us? >> yes, senator. this is an area that we have to stay engaged with russia and hold them accountable for the commitments of the new start, and make sure that we are in position to meet our
accountability as well. >> thank you. senator blake. >> thank you. thank you, for your testimony and your willingness to serve. it is a difficult thing to put your family through and everything else. i want you to know how much we appreciate that. in your opening testimony you talk talked about this war on isis that it will take a while. that is the implication of what you wrote, and i certainly believe it is true. in congress here, we rarely declare war these days, but we do authorize the use of military force or the passed of amuf and we have not passed one yet in regard to isis and still working under the ill-fitting 2001 amuf in reregard to al qaeda in afghanistan. senator cain and i have offered a bipartisan amuf to deal with
al qaeda, excuse me, isis. we think that it is certainly going thele help to have congressional buy-in that our allies deserve to know where we are, and our adversaries need to know. what are your thoughts with the regards to the amuf specifically regarding isis. >> well, i think that the president-elect in broad terms indicated during his campaign and the comments made in other instances that he believes it is important to not just lightly going into the conflicts. he would seek the engagement of congress and the supportf of congress in some means, whether it is through the sense of the congress or specifically legislation. i would not disagree with the characterization that it is much more powerful when the u.s. shows up with everyone aligned, and i think that having the support of the congress standing behind those decisions to commit
u.s. men and women, u.s. military resources, does give us a much stronger position to ep gauge with allies in doing those alliances that are important, and in the case of defeating isis that is one of the first actions that is going to be necessary to reengage with the allies in the area to ensure to know what thaw are willing to commit as well. and, so yes, i would strongly support in engaging certainly at the minimum with this committee, and ultimately the if legislative action would support our efforts with isis and talk ing to the president about that. there >> i think that would be welcomed here and i don't want to speak for my colleagues, but what i would not like to see is what we saw after the promise, and the drawing of the redline which you mentioned in the testimony that when you draw to a red line, you said that we sent, we mixed red lines that
turned into the green light which is the case, but what happened is with the last administration the line was drawn and rather than reinforce it when it was crossed the administration came to congress to ask for permission. and we always enjoy the administration coming to us, but when you are drawing a red line, enforce it. war powers act allows 60 days, and that is what i think that we, and that kind of collaboration with congress is using auz a crutch ra -- using as a crutch rather than ally in the battle. >> i take the point. >> in are regards to cuba, you mentioned that the leaders under the new arrangement that we have with diplomatic relations, and loosened travel restrictions that you were referring to, and
the leaders have referred much, and the people have received nothing which serves neitherer the interest of cubans or americans and i encourage you in the recent weeks and months, i encourage you to look at what has happened and the government is no less repressive in regards to the distance that is going on, but when president obama allowed american, cuban-americans in particular to travel unfettered to cuba and a lifted the caps on the remittances, it allowed cubans who had previously worked for the government in cuba to engage in private sector activity. and from virtually no private sector employment in cuba, we have gone to 25% of the cuban workforce in the private sector, and i would submit that they enjoy now a measure of economic freedom tand political freedom that they didn't before. so i think that it has benefited the cuban people, and will continue to if we continue the approach that we have now taken. and so i -- i do share your
aversion to sanction, and particular ily those that are not multi lateral, and we have seen it in stages in cuba over the years where where only the u.s. employ staanctions and oths that are not anything other than giving the regime a convenient excuse, and i encourage you to look at what happened in cuba with regards to new policy. with regard to africa, we had a good discussion in my office where at exxonmobil, you had dealt with africa a lot, and talking about the soft can diplomacy for a while, and you is a lot of programs through the usaid and all over the continent. as you have viewed the programs in addition to what exxonmobil has done in the corporate governance area, what works and what doesn't, and how can we refashion some of the policies
to nudge countries towards democracy that need nudging or that punish countries where it is deemed fit or encourage the cooperation with us on security measures or humanitarian measures. >> well, certainly, the use of the important usaid assistance is really falling in two broad areas, a disaster relief addressing imminent situations on the ground where there's starvation or the result of storms or result of conflict, providing assistance to relieve the immediate suffering is an important part of the usaid. over the past few years in looking at the balance of that against what i would call development assistance which is designed to create sustainable change, and that is disastrous
and grown, and less available for development. other important ways in which we can provide the assistance is through other mechanisms such as the millennial challenge corporation for those countries that qualify, and that is a different model, and so i think that in terms of what is the issue that we are trying to address, that is then conditions of how do we put obligations on the country then to modify behaviors whether it is to take steps to reduce corruption, and impr improve the strengths to their own capacity to manage their affairs. where i have seen a good progress is when a system was put into the country with some requirements that for instance they modify or streamline the permitting process. one of the ways to reduce corruption is to remove the compl complexities of how people are able to carry out their activities. the more steps in the process, the more opportunities for
people to be taking something out of it or adding a cost to it. so i know that there are examples where governments have been required to simplify the simple thing of a citizen going down to get a driver's license or the citizen to be permitted to buy an automobile or piece of equipment, and only to one place. you can shine a bright light on it, and it is easy to follow the money as they say, and kit can be effective in beginning to change the behaviors within some of these developing countries. where we can tie our assistance to obligations, it is important that we do so, and then able to follow-up and again, we have, i think it is every country's issues need to be examined on the case-by-case basis, and then target assistance to america's
values, and help that country continue its journey with the better governance, but if it is disaster relief, it is hard to do, because it is hard to start feeding starving people, and when the post government is not meeting the obligations, we are not going the stop feeding starving people. those are difficult decisions, and i appreciate that. >> and some of the to programs like pepfar, and can you talk about how that has helped our situation and what you have observed in africa? >> well, it is one of the most extraordinarily successful programs in africa. i saw it up close and personal, because of exxonmobil had taken on the challenge of eradicating malaria because of the activities in central africa where malaria is quite prevalent and working with the ngos and some receiving funding through pepfar and other agencies and other public for private pa
partnerships, and so eradicating malaria, and great deal of progress made, and that is where i saw it up close and personal, and i know that pepfar has broadly brought so much goodwill from africa, recognition of the goodwill and the compassionate nature of the american people is one of the best projections of the american goodwill and compassion into the continent that i think that you will ever find, and it is broadly recognized by the leaders and more importantly, recognized by those who it touches. >> senator udall. >> thank you so much, mr. chairma chairman, and you and the ranking member to work so carefully with us to get this organized in such a good, good fashion. mr. tillerson, let me first of all, thank you so much for your visit to our office, and to be able to exchange ideas and
discussing where you want to a approach things as the incoming secretary of state, if you are approved. i want to thank so much your family for being here. it is always wonderful to see family, and brenda and brothers and sisters, and so, it is a good, a very good start i believe. you know, i believe that exxon has done and continues to do business in the various countries in the world that are are problematic to the u.s., and you have mentioned it a little bit here, and in some of the cases,m some of the countries are outright hostile. we know that exxon did business in iran, and iran's regime has supported terrorist attacks against americans. exxon has a massive oil interest in russia which is recently acted to undermine our e llectis in civil society, and of course, exxon also has a history of major political contributions, and large washington lobbyist
presence. would you permit exxon to lobby the state department under your le leadership? >> well, senator, as to any issues involving exxonmobil that might come before me ifp confirmed as secretary of state, i would recuse myself from those issues. >> and would you take phone calls from the new ceo about foreign matters or any interests that they had around the world that are within jurisdiction of the state department? >> i would not extend to the new chairman and ceo of exxonmobil any courtesies beyond that which i would extend to anyone. >> so, are you saying that you would take calls and visit with the ceo? i mean, i am trying to understand -- >> well, it would be -- >> what kind of limits you are going to put on yourself in terms of the dealing with the company and employees. i know that you are, and it made a clean break, and in terms of
the ethics agreements and things like that, and give us an understanding of the policy that you are going to follow if you are are approved with how you are going to the deal with the situations there. are many countries in the world where you know that to give you an example, australia, new guinea, qatar, and others where exxon is asking for the tax dollars back from those, and if you are carrying out foreign policy in those countries, how are you going to be dealing with that situation in terms of the contact with exxon, with your former colleagues that kind of situation. >> well sh, let me start with we you began in terms of taking phone calls. i would not expect that i will be taking phone calls from any business leaders in my prior role, i never called on the secretary of state directly. i called on the deputy often or
the missions, primarily the ambassadors. so i, you know, whether i will take phone calls from anyone is a subject to the question itself. as to how i would deal with the past history that i have in my prior position with exxonmobil, i have made it clear in the disclosures and in answers to questions that have been posed, obvio obviously, there is a statutory recusal period which i will adhere to on any matters that might come before the state department that deal directly and specifically with exxonmobil. beyond that though, we are so much involving the natural gas and industry, and the scope of that is such that i would not expect to have to recuse myself. in any instance where there is any question or the appearance, i would expect to seek the guidance of council from the
office of ethics from the state department, and also to follow their guidance as to whether it is an issue that i should recuse myself from. >> thank you very much for that answer. i was very heartened by some of the exchange that we had in my office with regard to climate change. as you know, climate change has been express ared as a serious national security concern. sea levels rising and threatened navy bases and we have water shortages all over the world, and in my ste of new mexico, and other natural disasters that are going to be threatening the stability of many developing n countries, and during the transition, some departments have been asked and to name individuals involved in climate policy who attended the international climate meetings which made many federal employees concerned about a witch hunt against the civil servants involved in climate
policy, and would you plan or support any efforts to persecute sideline or otherwise retaliate against the career state department employees who have worked on climate change in the pas past? >> no, sir, that is a pretty unhelpful way tot get started. >> well, e like that answer. >> while you weas you were ceo exxonmobil, increasing carbon emission emissions in the atmosphere are having a warming effect. there is a broad scientific and policy consensus that action must be taken to further quantify and assess the risk which is the end of the quote on the website. i understand that if confirmed, you will be serving under president-elect trump, but do you personally stand by this statement today, yes or no? >> i do not take exception to that statement. i might articulate it a little
bit differently as to my personal views. the president-elect has invited my views on climate change, and he has asked for them, and he know knows that i am on the public record with my views. and i look forward to providing those if confirmed to him, and in discussion around how the u.s. should conduct its policies in this area. ultimately, the president-elect, and he was elected andly carry out the policies, and in order to be a successful as possible, but i think it is important to note that he has asked, and i feel free to express those views. >> thank you. during our meeting you expressed a carbon act as one affirmative act to address climate change, and will you continue to work with the congress on this complex issue, and make it a priority in the state ep departme -- in the state department if confirm
ed. >> when it comes to tax policy, that is to other agencies to conduct. my role at state is to only deal with the issues that are relevant to treaties or international according that we have entered into in terms of the continued compliance with those participation in those, and so that would be to a aria that that i will be most engaged in. and my understanding in the discussion in the office and i this they you said that you were going the to talk about this publicly, if you were asked questions, and you came to the carbon tax conclusion doing a thorough analysis of everything out there, and whatever was trying to bring down carbon emissions, you looked at everything, and then you concluded the besting are rk mendation was to move forward with the carbon tax, is that correct? >> the am sis that i went
through which is largely informed by the number of studi studies, economic studies by the academic institutions and others is that during the time that the congress is debating the cap and trade approach which in my view had not produced the result that everyone wanted in europe. we had a working model in europe that we had been watching, and had been exxonmobil had been participating in that model. the debate around a cap and trade is being the option versus something else is what stimulated the question for me of, well, if this is not working, what might? and so that began the investigation of otherle l alternatives, and one of the elements of considering something like that as a solution are two aspects. one, it replaces the hodgepodge of approaches that we have today which are scattered and some of which are through mandate and some of which are through well
intend ed, but ineffective incentives, and so let's simplify the system, and this is the one and only effort to undertake to try to begin to influence people's choice, and the second qualifier, i have always placed on it is that the revenues from the, if a carbon tax were put in place, it has to be revenue neutral, and all of the revenues back out into the economy through the reduced employee payroll taxes, because there is going to be impacts on the jobs, and so let's mitigate it by reducing the impact by putting it back into the economy, so none of the money is held as in the federal treasury for other purposes. this is simply a mechanism to incentivize choices that people are make, and not a revenue raiser. >> thank you very much, mr. t l tillerson. >> if i could, senator udall did an excellent job of teasing this out, and one thing
that is not stated though, and would you succinctly statet your personal position as it relates to
climate change. >> i came to my personal position over about 20 years as an engineer and scientist, and understanding the evolution of the science. and came to the conclusion a few years hag the risk of climate change does exist, and that the consequences of it could be serious enough that action should be taken, and the type of action is it seems to be the largest areas of debate exist ing in the public discourse, and i think that it is important to recognize that the u.s. has done a pretty good job. >> this is not as succinct as i was hoping. i think that -- >> i think that we should let him finish. >> do you believe that the human activity based on your belief and science is contributing to climate change? >> the increase in the greenhouse gas concentrations
in the atmosphere are having an
effect. our ability to predict that effect is very limited. >> senator gardner. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you mr. tillerson, por your service or hopeful service to the country and to your family, thank you as well for your commitment, because if confirmed, it is a sacrifice for you as well, and so thank you for serving the nation if that is the will of the senate. in your opening statement, you talk about what i believe is the idea of america, liberty and prosperity and that we live in a nation that is founded on liberty, and maintaining the liberty through security and growing with the prosperity of the american people, and so whether it is the industrial revolution for the civil ar war or the world war i or the depression or the time period afterward, and not a year or two or three in time, but a generational if not more definition and changing lives impacting our children, and the
moment that we are in today, and the changes that we have seen around the globe, and the changes in technology, and instability will greatly impact the lives of our children, and my children and your children, and soy believe that engagement with the world matters and that u.s. engagement matters greatly and you would agree with that assessment? >> yes, we would. and this is not the time for the world to shrink from the engagement, is that correct some >> yes, senator. in our opening remarks that is what is absent. >> and western matters that build upon the international norms to make the country great, and the limited prosperity and security. >> and we are the only country able to project that with authority. >> one thing that we find so interesting about the committee and the work we do is the opportunity to lead around the world with diplomacy, and the will of the people to lead this country and not just defense,
but would you agree with that? >> yes, sir. >> and that we will use force when necessary and not back a wway from the obligation to use force where necessary, correct? >> yes. i know that everyone understands that it is the least attractive option. >> and that we should leave no doubt in the minds of the alliances, and the willingness and the commitment of the united states to both use diplomacy and force where necessary to achieve the goals of the alliance. >> and diplomacy is ineffective if it is not backed up by the threat of force. >> and mr. tillerson, north korea has developed a series of nuclear capabilities ta that poa significant threat to the united states and trying to develop the capabilities, and to the he ali. and in the last congress, senat senator menendez and i worked on
a bill and it was signed to address this administration's failed policy of sanctions. the first sanction mandated sanctions of those who are resisted the pyongyang human rights violation, and the cyber efforts, a nd if you are confirmed, do you plan to fulfill all of the mandatory requirements of this sanctions act? >> yes, i would, senator. and that is the issue u in north korea is that we have failed to enforce existing sanctions on e regime, and including that which is overseen by the united nations. >> i want to get into that more, and your plan as it relates to the north korea, and our actions toward north korea depend on north korea and japan, and the relationship with the two nations, and how do we bolster those relationships between south korea and japan? it starts with our friends and allies, and ensuring that we
arm completelile aligned on our commitment to enforce these sanctions? >> and the alliance that we have with south korea is going to be strengthened under president-elect trump's administration. is that correct? >> that would be my expectation, yes, sir (one t. >> one of the keys to success of denuclearization is china. are you willing to exert more pressure on north korea through china including u.n. security, and u.n. security resolutions, and pushing china to do more to enforce these resolutions as it relates to north korea. >> as indicated a lot of the troubles today are that we do not enforce, and we make commitments and say that we will do something, and then we don't enforce it. and that is again a mixed message that has been sent in a case of north korea, and the expectations of china. and i think that we have to be clear-eyed as to how far china will go, and not get overly
optimistic as to how far they will go. and that is why ultimately, it is going to require a new approach with china in order for china to understand our expectations of them going beyond certainly what they you north korean economy, most of it relies on china, and china has not been willing to comply with the activities that are otherwise subject to sanction, and would you support secondary sanctions against chinese areas that have interfered. >> well, 90% of the north korean economy depends on china. and so the purchase of coal
which is specifically mentioned, and if there are gaps of enforcement, they have to be enforced and if china is not going to comply with the u.n. sang shups, then it isp appropriate for the toudz consider actions to compel them to comply. >> and how do you intend to lead u.s. and multi national multi literal efforts to disarm pyongyang? it is a long-term plan, and it starts with again a designing the sanctions and enforcing the sanctions to close gaps that exist, and you have already highlighted that there are gaps in those sanctions today that are undermining the effectiveness. so it is a question of closing thep gaps, and where it is a appropriate to seek further steps against those who are not fully complying with the sanctions, and revisiting other ways to, and other areas to close off access by north korea to resources that allow them to continue to develop the nuclear
capabilities. it is and all of the looking at all of that approach as to what is still there, and what can we put it, and how can we put additional pressure on them to deny them the capability to continue to advance and not just the development, but the delivery systems which is where the greatest threat is today. >> and so, congressman, this is the first time that the committee added scyber security to the jurisdiction and i chaired the subcommittee on the east earn asia and cyber policies, and during that hearing we mandated that the state department produce a long overdue policy on the outgoing administration's international cyber policies. and that bill builds mandatory scyber sanctions and the first time that any legislation has done. so and i have supported it and supported the idea of a stand alone committee on cyber
committee, and so we have ale whole government view to mow how the to address the cyber needs from the commercial sector to the standpoint of the security needs. that is something that we need. and how will you prioritize the cyber community at the state department. >> is and if confirmed and as i indicated the imminent threat is isis, and i highlighted that in the are remarkremarks, but the greatest and most complex is in cyber security. the u.s. has sug nif can't capabilities of its own, but we are also extraordinarily vulnerable, because partly we have not maintained our own i.t. infrastructure and not built defensive mechanisms to protect, and not just government sites and government information, but important infrastructure in some cases important private sector from attack as well. it is important that we put in place once and for all a comprehensivet strategy for dealing with cyber security, and
cyber threats that includes what are going to be appropriate norms for behavior and appropriate use for suber information and what is an acceptable response when the nations violate the norms. and i think that the u.s. has to lead in this area, and so no one is doing it. and this is going to require a lot ofn gaugement from the defense department, and the intelligence community of how to construct a thoughtful approach to cyber security and thoughtful approach to what are going to be the norms, and then you engage with the friends and allies first and we establish what those norms are going to be and then build out the international e supporter for them, so that when these attacks happen, we are not struggling what is an appropriate response, and how far should we go? this is going to be the accepted
norms. it is a complicated issue, and it has a lot of aspects to it that have to be carefully considered, but we cannot delay, beginning to develop this approac approach. >> and do you believe that the cyber security department could have an ambassador to that? >> yes, i believe that the assessment is going to be able to manage the threat and taking action. >> thank you, sir. >> you have extreme stamina nor a 64-year-old male in multiple ways, and with that, we are going to have a five-minute recess, and if you are going to exit the room, i suggest you come this way, and we will resume with senator cain in five minutes.